Another week, another edition of Monday Night RAW! This week, the flagship show heads to San Antonio and are looking toward the Royal Rumble, which is only 13 days away at the time of this writing.
Last Week’s RAW:
All is right in the world, as the Balor Club defeated Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and, ugh, Jason Jordan in Monday’s main event. It was a perfectly played story, too; Jordan is (increasingly) becoming the reason that the pseudo-Shield is losing matches, and such was the case here, too. Jordan, disgruntled with the referee, caused a distraction which caused a tag-in to be missed. It also allowed Finn Balor to escape and hit a Coup de Gras on Rollins for the easy victory.
The best part of this match was that everyone came out looking great; the chemistry between the trio from Japan is obvious, and even Jason Jordan - as grating as he may be - is playing his character to perfection right now. Sure, we hate him, but at this point, it’s his job - and dammit, I hate how good he is at his job.
More Quick Hits:
- Braun Strowman, in perhaps his most destructive moment ever, used a grappling hook to take out a piece of the RAW set, injuring Brock Lesnar and Kane.
- Nia Jax attacked Asuka
- Sasha Banks and Bayley defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
- #WOKEN Matt Hardy debuted (awesome) new theme music, and defeated Curt Hawkins
- Cedric Alexander got the victory over Enzo Amore, but alas, no Cruiserweight Championship as Enzo got himself counted out.
- Titus Worldwide defeated the Bar
State of the Belts:
Brock Lesnar is taking a week off this week, and for the first time in a while, I think he deserves it. After all, he’s been through a lot in the last couple weeks. However, Lesnar likely had his worst day at work in a while last week, when Braun Strowman decided to use a freakin’ grappling hook to bring down a piece of the RAW set on top of both the Beast Incarnate and Kane. It was the single most destructive thing I’ve seen on RAW in ages, and it was absolutely delightful. No word on whether the Big Red Machine will be on tonight’s episode - he did refuse medical attention after last week - but for now, Braun reigns supreme.
A title match has been made for #RAW25, as Roman Reigns will defend the Intercontinental Championship against the Miz. This will act as the Miz’s contractual rematch; after losing the title just over a month ago to Reigns, he was powerbombed through an announce table by the recently-reunited Shield. While Reigns has been good as champion, the Miz was great; here’s to hoping he can reclaim the belt.
RAW’s tag team championships are in a state of flux, with Jason Jordan & Seth Rollins unable to get on the same page, while the Bar lost to Titus Worldwide last week. We’ve talked at length about the issues between Rollins and Jordan; however, I couldn’t be happier to see Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews enter the tag-team scene. The division has desperately needed a shakeup since Jeff Hardy went down with an injury, and even though I still view them as a lower-tier team it’s great to have new blood in there. Now, if only the Revival could get some TV time…
The RAW Women’s Championship still exists, somewhere - however, considering that Alexa Bliss hasn’t defended it since October and that it’s hardly been mentioned in storylines since then, well, we’ll just make sure to give it it’s obligatory mention here.
Here and There:
Asuka and Nia Jax are set to collide tonight for the first time on the main roster, after Jax attacked the Empress of Tomorrow during her entrance last week. It’s been a while since they battled over the NXT Women’s Championship, with Jax measurably improved in-ring. I’m actually quite excited for their match this week, but don’t expect Asuka‘s first loss in WWE to come on a throwaway edition of Monday Night RAW.
I’m still thrilled that RAW is #WOKEN thanks to Matt Hardy. We still seem primed for a Royal Rumble showdown with Bray Wyatt; however, now I’m most excited for when they actually talk to each other.
Cedric Alexander is scheduled to (finally) take on Enzo Amore for the Cruiserweight Championship at the Royal Rumble, but first it appears as though a partnership with Goldust is on the horizon. It’s a weird pairing, but the Bizzare One has proven that he can make any odd couple work - just look at his time with Booker T if you don’t believe me.
Samoa Joe has reportedly been pulled out of WWE live events until mid-March with a nagging foot injury. After declaring for the Royal Rumble and a feud with John Cena seemingly on the horizon before the injury, will we see the Samoan Submission Machine at all before he’s healed?
The Mixed Match Classic begins on Facebook tomorrow; I’m super excited for the event, and I’m pretty anxious to see how they’ll weave it into tonight’s storylines.
Three Things to Watch For:
- A huge blow to the RAW women’s division came last week, as Paige was reportedly told by WWE officials that she was “done” as an in-ring performer for the company. It’s a huge disappointment for not only the fans, but I’m sure for herself after her triumphant comeback just after Survivor Series. However, there’s been no official confirmation of the report by WWE, and with the Anti-Diva announced as an entrant in the women’s Royal Rumble, how will if affect WWE’s current storyline?
- Where is the Revival? I brought them up earlier, but I’m seriously baffled as to where they are. As one of the greatest success stories to come out of NXT, I’d expected bigger things on the main roster. While injuries have hampered the duo, they’ve been back for over a month - why aren’t the Top Guys being used?
- On a side note, former Universal Champion Goldberg was announced as the first official inductee to the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame. While next week is RAW 25, could a legend return a week early? I doubt it, but don’t be surprised if Bill shows up.
That’s our show, wrestling fans! You watching? Let me know your thoughts tonight on twitter at @SpennyLove, or in the comments section below!
WWE: Last 5
- Five Things I Want to See in 2018
- NXT Preview and Prediction: January 10th
- Smackdown Live Preview: January 9th
- Monday Night Spencer: Predictions for 08/01/18 RAW
- This Week in Wrestling: January 5th